The students are gonna love this.
I saw a response from someone here stating something to the effect of not having any idea what theory of nursing her school espoused. This got me going. Nursing theory has always been a bone of contention for me.
I've been a nurse for twelve years and worked in 6 or 7 hospitals. I have no idea who (or what) any of those hospitals claimed as their nursing thoerist.
I was taught nursing theory in my ADN program where I know they espoused what they called a "modified Roy model". I also had to take it in my BSN program. I have no idea who they liked best. I have friends in MSN programs who have to spend an entire semester, again on nursing theory. It always annoyed me to no end to have to base everything in school on a theorectical framework. I never saw the point.
So, I'm curious. Do you know what theory your institution pracitces by? Do you care? Do you gravitate towards one theorist more than another?
I, personally think nursing theory and the nursing process are a failed attempt at legitimizing the science of nursing. This is not to say that nursing is not science. I just don't think the theorists have got it right yet. Calista Roy is the closest I think, but really, how many of you go about your day thinking, "now what would Martha Rogers do in this situation?"
Mar 19, '04
by llg, BSN, MSN, PhD
ferfer, I loved your response. It gives me hope that the next generation of nurses will have a healthy attitude towards theory. As you seem to have grasped, having a theoretical basis for practice doesn't have to mean that your actions are based on a recipe, with everything being overt and straightforward. A lot of people use theories and don't even know it.
Theories (be they nursing or psychology or physiology or whatever) are just tools -- tools to use to help us understand the world a little better. They evolve as our understanding changes, our needs change, our focus changes, etc. They don't need to always lead to definite prescriptions for specific actions. Our discipline and profession is improved by the further development of theory, but it would be a mistake to allow ourselves to be locked into any one theory -- to stick with one theory at one stage of evolution for every situation forever. It's the flexible use of theory that enables growth and evolution -- a sign of an active mind, open to new possibilities. That doesn't mean that theory is bogus.
I use lots of different theories in my practice -- whatever best fits the situation. At times, I use Nightingale ... sometimes Rodgers ... sometimes Benner .... sometimes Swanson-Kaufman ... sometimes others. They all have something valuable to add to our understanding of the human condition and people's response to health/illness/injury issues.
Last edit by llg on Mar 19, '04